I was privileged to meet the creater and owner of Organic at Heart, “a true food restaurant” in Plumstead, where we recently enjoyed a great staff meeting. If you look at the menu and notice that they cater for wheat free, sugar free, gluten free, raw, vegetarian and vegan eaters, it’s obvious that the woman behind this initiative knows her health science.
But little did I know that Michele Carelse (below) is a clinical psychologist who thirty years ago started off her career in natural health as a therapist focused on mental and emotional problems and disorders. Many conditions and challenges called for some physical support, and according to her training these people would then receive prescription drugs.
However, she became concerned about the extensive side effects of the pharmaceutical drugs, which her allopathic training had prescribed. And so she set off on a lifetime of creating natural cures and remedies in the first place for mental problems – depression, anxiety, panic attacks, ADHD, ADD etc.
With the help of experts in the fields of herbal and homeopathic remedies, she created remedies that were so in demand that she started her own range of natural remedies. Then related illnesses followed, like high blood pressure and diabetes. Today, there’s a remedy or herbal medicine for almost anything you can think of at the head-office of Feelgood Health in Plumstead.
Modern life comes at a price
“Modern living is great,” she says, “but it comes at a price. Pollution, over-processed foods, preservatives, inadequate exercise and the overuse of allopathic medication add to the increase in lifestyle and stress related illnesses – not to mention the effect on our planet.”
Organic at Heart is a restaurant set within a historical thatch-roofed house with the Beginnings Holistic Life Centre on the top floor above the restaurant. Here you can find holistic health therapies, massage, yoga, nutritional therapy, hypnotherapy, psychologists, meditation classes, life and business coaching, rebirthing, kinesiology, naturopathy and energy healing. Anything to support your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.
You enter this healing space via the Spades and Spoons Deli run by Lumai de Smidt of Raw Food Religion, where you can get almost anything raw and wheat free. Like chocolate brownies to die for.
Organic food straight from the garden
In the garden grows most of the organic vegetables and herbs served in their deliciously nutritious creations, leading to their byline “farmland bliss in the heart of suburbia.” It was started two years ago, originally as strictly vegetarian, an eating regime which Michelle adheres to. Yet she is not prescriptive in her approach and does serve free-range and halaal meat and eggs, which are certified free from growth hormones and prophylactic antibiotics.
Above all the food is simply unusually delicious and creative and we tucked into a buffet so nutritious that we had our best meeting ever. Yes, of course the extra nutrients in the food can be tasted and felt and lifts the spirits, just like any proper and natural foods do. But whacky new creations, like smokey nut burger, raw lasagne, tomato and caramalised onion tart in a flax and coconut shell with creamy nut sauce, raw pizza slice, and afterwards some gluten free chocolate and ginger cake, or diary free hot chocolate makes you realise that you are here in the hands of a very knowledgeable mother who cares about her clients’ heart and soul.
On the way out you remember to purchase homeopathic sleep drops for restless nights, a Focus Formula for an ADD friend, a skin remedy for the dog and an epilepsy formula for the gardener.
The whole experience left us feeling so refreshed and nurtured, that we are heading back there soon. Hope to see you there.